To Die For – Success (Open Forum) – Gospel in Life

To Die For – Success (Open Forum)

Tim Keller |  September 27, 1998

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  • Purpose and Calling
OF 18


Open Forums are specifically designed for skeptics or those wrestling with the claims of Christianity. Each Open Forum included a brief concert by guest artists followed by a talk and open mic Q&A with Timothy Keller. This audio recording includes the talk only.

Philippians 2; Matthew 5:6

Today’s society often tells us that success comes from making a lot of money or having a fancy job, especially for young people. This idea makes us compete for the best colleges and can lead us to harm ourselves in our pursuit of success. But, often, this kind of success leaves us feeling empty and disappointed.

1. Success does not deliver security

Even successful people can suddenly lose everything, like what happened to the hedge fund, “Long Term Capital Management”. Life is unpredictable. For example, a young, healthy woman could suddenly need a heart transplant. The only place we can find true security is in a spiritual relationship with God, who is with us no matter what happens.

2. Success does not deliver importance

Being successful doesn’t always make us feel important. In fact, it can make us feel less important over time, like a drug that gives less pleasure the more we use it. Celebrities like Madonna and John Evans show us this by always chasing more success to feel important. We start to feel like this when we forget that we are already valuable and instead start to depend on our achievements to feel worthy. This can lead us to feel insignificant without a bigger purpose in life.

3. Success does not deliver happiness

Even after achieving success, many people still feel unhappy. This shows us that our hearts are not in the right place. True happiness and fulfillment come from knowing God and living like Jesus Christ did, by putting others before ourselves and seeking to do what’s right. To start this journey, we need to admit our mistakes and insecurities, and give up our self-focused goals for a life with more meaning.



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